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Need for Uniform Civil Code in India

Need for Uniform Civil Code in India


  • The British government’s 1835 report in colonial India called for the uniform civil code of Indian law, including crimes, evidence, and contracts.
  • However, the Lex Loci Report of October 1840 suggested that the personal laws of Hindus and Muslims should be excluded from this codification.
  • As British rule progressed, the B N Rau Committee was formed in 1941 to codify Hindu law, leading to the enactment of the Hindu Succession Act in 1956.
  • During the debates in the Constituent Assembly, the inclusion of the UCC sparked significant discussion.
  • There was a vote, resulting in a 5:4 majority, where it was decided by the sub-committee on fundamental rights, led by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, that the UCC would not be included as a fundamental right.
  • Dr B R Ambedkar, while drafting the Constitution, stated that a UCC was desirable but should remain voluntary until the nation was socially prepared to accept it.
  • As a result, the UCC was placed in the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) (Article 44).


  • UCC will promote national integration and secularism by removing the distinctions and contradictions based on religious personal laws and creating a common identity for all citizens.
  • It would ensure gender justice and equality by abolishing the discriminatory and oppressive practices against women in various personal laws, such as polygamy, unequal inheritance, etc.
  • But at the same time, Critics argue that imposing a single code might undermine the cultural and religious autonomy of minority communities, leading to feelings of alienation and marginalisation.
  • India already faces a significant backlog of cases, and implementing a UCC could exacerbate the situation.
  • The extensive legal reforms necessary to harmonise personal laws into a single code would demand significant time and effort. For example, Goa’s implementation of a UCC has been praised by the Supreme Court in 2019. However, the ground reality reveals complexities and legal pluralities within the state’s UCC.

Current News:

  • Indian Prime Minister, in his recent address, expressed his support for the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India, stating that India cannot function efficiently with a system of “separate laws for separate communities”.


  • Comparative Analysis: There is a need to conduct a comprehensive comparative analysis of the various personal laws in India. This will help in understanding the commonalities and areas of contention.
  • Enactment of Common Principles: Based on the comparative analysis, we can enact a law of personal status that incorporates principles shared by the different personal laws.
  • These common principles, which align closely across various personal laws, can be immediately enforced to establish a uniform legal framework.
  • Family Law Board: There is a need to establish a Family Law Board within the Union Law Ministry, which would be responsible for studying and recommending changes to personal laws related to family matters.

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